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Monday, December 05, 2011

McGrath: Minnie Minoso a Legend, But Not Hall of Fame-Worthy

He messed around with a bloke named Smoky Burgess
Hidee-hidee-hidee-ho…

Minoso’s influence is less celebrated, though as a Spanish-speaking, dark-skinned Cuban he had to overcome a daunting language barrier as well as a reluctantly falling color barrier when he reached the big leagues for good in 1951. He was traded to the White Sox that year, and became a baseball treasure in Chicago, a dynamic performer on the field and a cheerful, charismatic presence in the community.

While multiple award winners like Rod Carew, Alex Rodriguez, Roberto Clemente and Pedro Martinez might exaggerate the degree of Latino dominance, there is no denying the impact players from Latin America have had on baseball.

Latinos held more than 28 percent of M.L.B.’s opening-day-roster spots in 2011. Since Minoso’s debut in 1949, 19 most valuable players, 10 Cy Young Award winners, 31 batting champions and 19 home run leaders have been of Latino descent.

...Bill Veeck owned the Indians when they signed Minoso in ’48. He brought him back to Chicago in 1960, after buying the White Sox, one of several dubious trades that mortgaged the future of the ’59 pennant winners. Veeck loved Minnie, but using him as a prop in some of his stunts, like pinch-hitting him as a 54-year-old (or a 58-year-old) in 1980, no doubt diminishes his ballplayer bona fides.

Can you imagine the fierce warrior Jackie Robinson or the defiantly proud Roberto Clemente going along with such a gag? But that was Minoso, almost childlike in his love for the game.

Cooperstown? I’m not seeing it, and I’m sorry to say it.

Repoz Posted: December 05, 2011 at 03:44 AM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:18 AM (#4007006)
If I'm reading this right, this may be the most irrelevant argument I've ever heard in a Hall of Fame debate. Are we really supposed to believe that being part of a publicity stunt erased some of Minoso's earlier accomplishments?
   2. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#4007012)
It seems like the article was a victim of bad editing. It spends most of the article steadily building his case, and then out of nowhere, a sudden first-person sentence that refutes what 85 percent of the text before it supported.
   3. Cooper Teenoh Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:06 AM (#4007038)
#2: No, that's just Dan McGrath. He's actually an editor.
   4. Matheny Hitting School and Investment Strategies Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:26 AM (#4007047)
Poor min, poor min, poor min.
   5. bobm Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:35 AM (#4007057)
Veeck loved Minnie, but using him as a prop in some of his stunts, like pinch-hitting him as a 54-year-old (or a 58-year-old) in 1980, no doubt diminishes his ballplayer bona fides.


Moocher.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2011 at 07:25 AM (#4007081)
Phil Rogers brought it up too. First, I agree it's irrelevant to his HoF worthiness. Second, I thought it was pretty cool at the time and still do.
   7. Yclept Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:18 AM (#4007092)
Also, if I recall correctly, he got two hits in one of those games.
   8. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#4007196)
The Sox thought about bringing Minoso back again in 1990. I was disappointed when they didn't. They did bring back Jerry Hairston so he could qualify for the pension.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:16 PM (#4007204)
If I'm reading this right, this may be the most irrelevant argument I've ever heard in a Hall of Fame debate. Are we really supposed to believe that being part of a publicity stunt erased some of Minoso's earlier accomplishments?

Hey, we've got plenty of people around here saying that a player can go from having a HOF-worthy career to being HOF-unworthy by playing too long past his prime.
   10. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:21 PM (#4007209)
The Sox thought about bringing Minoso back again in 1990. I was disappointed when they didn't. They did bring back Jerry Hairston so he could qualify for the pension.

They wanted to bring him back, but Commissioner Giamatti blocked them citing the best interests of baseball clause.
   11. phredbird Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:23 PM (#4007211)
ron santo in hall of fame, courtesy of golden era committee.
   12. dlf Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#4007215)
A click of the heels for Ronnie. Wish he could have been around to see it.
   13. Gary Truth Serum Posted: December 05, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4007339)
The Sox thought about bringing Minoso back again in 1990. I was disappointed when they didn't. They did bring back Jerry Hairston so he could qualify for the pension.

They wanted to bring him back, but Commissioner Giamatti blocked them citing the best interests of baseball clause.

You would think that, but Giamatti was surprisingly powerless by 1990.

It didn't stop Fay Vincent from blocking the move, though.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: December 05, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#4007352)
Minoso was 1 for 8 in 1976 and 0 for 2 in 1980.
   15. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#4007422)
I remember it as the White Sox players were opposed to the move. They were chasing the A's for the AL West lead then. When the Sox were considering bringing back Minoso and Hairston, the A's traded for Willie McGee and Harold Baines.
   16. Up2Drew Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:41 AM (#4007746)
I was at the game when he got the hit in 1976. No cheapie, either. He smoked a fastball for a line drive up the middle.

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